THE DEVELOPER behind a £60m regeneration of Cowley’s Templars Square Shopping Centre has said it remains 'fully committed' to the scheme but once again failed to confirm when work will start.

Plans for the Between Towns Road centre were approved in July 2017 despite concerns about the level of affordable housing in the development - which was dropped below Oxford City Council’s target of 50 per cent to just one fifth.

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More than 200 homes, shops, two restaurants and a hotel are set to be built as part of New River’s proposals to revamp the shopping centre and surrounding area.

About 60 jobs will also be created and the 470-space Castle Street Car Park demolished.

A spokesperson for the company in December, following mounting frustration over no sign of building starting at the site, said it had been ‘working hard behind the scenes’ on next steps and that further updates would be shared in ‘due course’.

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However, almost six months on and nearly two years after the plans were first approved residents and local councillors are no closer to knowing when work will actually start.

County councillor John Sanders said the developer had failed to keep local representatives informed and it was ‘very concerning’.

He added: “I don’t know what is going through their heads but it’s clearly not helping the people of Cowley. As someone recently said to me, I’d like them to get on with it.”

Mr Sanders said he was also worried sufficient measures had not been put in place to avoid traffic problems, especially when the Castle Street car park is knocked down.

NewRiver bought Templars Square shopping centre in 2012.

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Documents put in with the original application show the company is expected to make a £9m profit from the regeneration.

Jamie Whitfield, director at NewRiver, said they remained 'fully committed' to the 'important and exciting' redevelopment. He added: "We have been making good progress behind the scenes to finalise the various parts of this complex scheme in order to move forward.

"One of these parts is improving the local highway infrastructure which involves various stakeholders. We are close now and look forward to updating the community in more detail in due course.”